Monday, August 25, 2008

Behind Blue Eyes

"No one knows what it's like
To be the bad man
To be the sad man
Behind blue eyes"
~The Who, Behind Blue Eyes

I can tell you exactly when it all began to change. It was January 1998; I was 35 years old. Until that point I felt I had nothing to share with the world, I felt I wasn't worth loving, I felt like an outsider, and I felt altogether unworthy of any good thing. I knew I was probably wrong in those feelings, but they were mine and I owned them. Then, in early January, I started to feel restless, very intensely restless... so much so that it felt like there was an electrical current running just beneath my skin. Still, I didn't know what it meant, much less what to do about it or with it.

"No one knows what it's like
To feel these feelings
Like I do"
~The Who, Behind Blue Eyes

Not long after, I was talking to a friend about it (I've long since lost touch with Dustin, but to this day I think of him and hope he is well). He asked if there was any time at all when I felt really good. Laughingly, I said, "Yeah, sure. When I fly in my dreams. I love that feeling, and it's always such a real feeling. I feel like nothing can touch me when I'm in the air. But, I always feel really disappointed when I wake up and find that I can't fly after all." "Barb, next time you have one of those dreams, hang on to that good feeling when you wake up. Take it with you into your day." Crazy idea, I thought, but what the hell.

"
But my dreams
They aren't as empty
As my conscience seems to be
"
~The Who, Behind Blue Eyes

It so happened that I had a flying dream that very night. Upon waking, I at first had that feeling of let down, but I remembered Dustin's words and I hung on to the good... clung to that glorious feeling of flight. I don't know why or how that changed things, but it did. My perspective began to change; my attitude began to change; I began to change. It followed into everything in my life. I found boldness and bravery, and I figured out that my life was worth something - worth quite a lot, in fact. It wasn't long after that I left my ex-bowl-of-oatmeal and moved West.

"
If I swallow anything evil
Put your finger down my throat
If I shiver, please give me a blanket
Keep me warm, let me wear your coat
"
~The Who, Behind Blue Eyes

I don't think Dustin ever knew what a tremendous thing he did. I don't think he understood what his words meant to me, but that conversation has stayed with me over the years. I can still tap into that flying feeling when I need to, even if I haven't dreamed of flight. It's made all the difference.

Not everyone has the great grace in life to experience flying dreams, but everyone has something in their life that makes them feel intrinsically and unequivocally good. Everyone has a laughin' place (or should). Find that thing in your life and grab on with both hands. Hell, wrap your legs around it like the lover it is, and hang on for dear life. I guarantee you the ride will be a wild one, but it'll open paths that you never expected to explore. It will exact change. It will enact a new paradigm.

See you out there in the currents of the wind...

4 comments:

  1. Great words to follow sis! Thank you for sharing this with 'me'...

    ILY, see you on the wind current :))

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  2. This post suddenly made me want to go listen to Wind beneath my wings for some strange reason, sung by a local artist.
    Keep flying barb, and stranger things have happened than someone reading this post and wondering their friend Dustin is that friend you never know.

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  3. Thanks, Dais!

    Gordon... YUCK! I detest that song.

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  4. Whewwww...I almost, and I mean that in a very long almost used that song in Relay for Life. ;)

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